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Becoming a Brony in 2018 feels like Cinderella making it to the ball and it's already quarter-to-midnight.


BornAgainBrony
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There was a short story turned into a film that I remember as a child, and it always shook me to the core. "All Summer in a Day." A little Ray Bradbury tale about children living on a planet where rain falls constantly, and the sun only shines once per decade (for a child, that is an eternity). One child, an immigrant from Earth, the only one who remembered what it felt like, dreams of nothing more than being in the sun again. Eventually, the sun appears, but a mean-spirited prank leaves her locked in the closet during this brief window of daylight. This is an approximation of how things are feeling right now.

Without realizing it, this is something I had been looking for since the end of my literal childhood, raised on the likes of Care Bears, Rainbow Brite, and Fraggle Rock. I always attributed it to some kind of "Peter Pan Syndrome" thing and dismissed it as such; hey, it's something that I guess everybody goes through at some point, right, wanting childhood again? But there was something more fundamental that just wouldn't go away. Being into "girly" things or even just "girly" emotions was bad enough already, leading to a ridiculous amount of bullying. But as teenhood arrived, puberty brought with it a myriad of changes, and I saw everyone around me change from who they were, into whoever they thought the opposite sex wanted. I was mostly unchanged by this. It felt like a meaningless transformation, and still does. But I was apparently the only one who felt that way.

Friendship was never again what it used to be like. It could be described just as acquaintance. A strange business partnership with no deeper connection. I was still much happier being around others, but it still brought with it a sense of isolation. None of it felt "real" anymore, and I felt sort of like an alien visitor who was just living on Earth incognito. I didn't feel right, and while I was doing all the other things that came with adulthood, there was this underlying search for the missing part of me... the best part of me... that was always the dominant theme of my journey, occasionally manifesting in creative works in all sorts of abstract ways. But after so much time had gone by since the last time I had experienced the thing, the true nature of it had become locked away in my subconscious. The only exception to this, was in romantic relationships. With a partner, it's acceptable to share feelings; to truly be yourself and expect to be accepted. As a result, that became the holy grail, a way of supplementing the idea (though I didn't realize this at the time), and it led to a lot of bad places, and go figure, in retrospect it wasn't even necessary. This includes my only marriage, which lasted roughly a decade. This one, classic abuser and manipulator, cut me off from all of my friends out of some weird sense of paranoia, and was probably the biggest reason that I never discovered FiM until just last year, or even if I had, I would've been so broken because of her, that I might not have been able to let it in.

In the wake of divorce, one of my old friends who managed to track me down kind of tricked me into giving the show a chance. There's a million cases of this so I need not go into a lot of detail. But I was starting to have emotions again. Real ones. Not the shallow ones I'd been experiencing in most of post-childhood. It wasn't until Tirek showed up that I realized how deeply the show was impacting me. I felt genuinely afraid, sad, angry, all of it. I felt like it was my own home that was in danger, and that was when I connected it to the essence of my childhood and realized that they were one and the same. In that moment, somewhere in early 2018, I went from casual viewer to part of the herd. It blew my mind that there was a show like this out there, post 1980's, and how massive the following was, even to the point of conventions dedicated solely to it. I was completely amazed. A bigger deal than the show itself, was while reading the vast information out there, there are so many others who are drawn to the show for for so many similar reasons; which is something that was unexplored before due to the absence of the internet to help unite people. I felt burdens I had carried for so long, lifted away. I felt twenty years younger. I had energy, excitement, and ambition. And it wasn't some little thing like a rush that lasted a day. This went on for months, and I was filled with ideas and dreams and thoughts of what the future could bring. I felt like I had come home. But as I was gobbling up a lot of the famous fanworks scattered all over youtube, I was also aware of the dates. many of them from 2011-2013, and then I worried. My friends assured me everything was fine, that the fandom was secure, but there was still this feeling of concern. Then I heard about the G5 leaks, and then the Bronycon bombshell, and then another convention announced its end just weeks after. It hit hard. Real hard.

I haven't felt the same since then. In one way I'm still better than I ever was, but in another, I feel worse. Even during the time I was with my wife, while she was stricken with some long-term unidentifiable illness, I remember having this strange thought a number of times that... "My time is right now, out there," though I didn't understand what. But I had felt a subtle change in what I was experiencing online, giving me this feeling that I was supposed to be living the decade to the fullest, instead of locked away, and now it all makes too much sense. But now all I keep feeling is "too late, way too late." Even going to Bronycon next year, it'll be like a funeral, not the joy and hope I've been longing for, for far too long. I hope I'm wrong, and the future, as always, remains to be seen, but how many miracles can keep happening in rapid succession? Few people more than me logically "should" have been involved from the beginning, and I even feel a twinge of guilt for not having been able to be a part of all this; especially knowing how much I would have been able to contribute. I'd still be pretty down now, with the news what's going on, but the past ten years surely would've been scores better, with a lot more happy memories, and I'd probably have a lot more years left ahead of me.

If all of this comes to an end, it seems like there will be no place to go but back to the way things were. There are plenty of other fandoms, but none that have the same impact. If I was given access to a TARDIS or a pair of dimensional scissors, there are a million worlds I would love to visit and explore. But Equestria is the only place where I would want to stay. And I think that reflects just as much, how I'm feeling about the Brony fandom. I feel like I just fell in love with someone I've only dreamed of since I was five years old, and now all I can do is watch her die. :(

Edited by bornAgainEquestrian
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I was a Brony since first episode, since premiere in Poland (October 2011), I had briefly explained how I went a Brony in my introdution. I was however always too afraid of being a Brony, that the only people that were knowing about me being a Brony was: mother, stepfather, younger sister and brother (there are now very malicious, when it comes to Starlight topics, ugh), father, friend of a father, my friend Łukasz and later: friend Norbert, Internet a (former) friend from Discord, grandparents and I think nothing else.

I've been checking sometimes Equestria Daily since half of season 2, rarer in seasons 3 and 4 and in season 5 I stopped and made a break... 3 year break, that was junior highschool, where I was infatuationed twice. It was a big mistake, big mistake of time, when I returned in the S8 premiere... I had missed season 6 and 7 premiers... because of that emotions, which made me forgetting this show (because I watched all episodes and I had nothing more to do with the show).

When I realised, that new episodes were coming out still, I had started to watch S6, S7 and S8 in one run. But just on S6 E1 something had intrigued me. Because I was so different from others, that even Asperger girl had broken up with me, because of my reasoning, way of thinking and other opinions than she wanted, I was closed in the 1st grade of high school. Few friends, as in previous school, and nobody more. Only teachers were my true cheering up, because they were mature, I just hadn't anybody to relate with. Everyone was so diffe (ekhem), I was so different from others, that I had no motivation to make new relations. I was seeking in everyone my potential enemies. And then I reminded of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and the only friendship type I accepted. There were no conditions IRL to make such deep friendships. The only friendship I still have living after school divortion is that one with Norbert, only because we live next to each other (buildings next to each other), so distance made an impact. But back to MLP: FiM, the infamous S6 E1 Starlight's stressing moment combined with the most building stress music I've ever heard had got through my stone heart. From this moment it started to escalate. I had understood how it felt to get rejected, how it felt to be constantly alone and I've forgot how to make proper new relations. Starlight was from this moment my real favourite.

I had rediscovered how great the MLP: FiM was, but I feel, like I missed a big chunk of fun and now, after watching only Starlight episodes I can only say, that... that... I don't know what really I have to say. It's just a big pity to miss the fun and join such forum (for example) so lately. My only hope for decent social interactions are this place and one Discord server I'm active on. About Starlight, she's my life now, I really wish I could go to Equestria and never go back. Human children just made me lost of faith of most of humanity and I wouldn't cry after leaving everything I had know only to be in Equestria (I just have hope that they speak my native language, lul).

I really identify with you now, dear @bornAgainEquestrian, I know how it feels to join a true community late. In the sunset of it. Nonentheless I suppose that the fandom, shrinked by time, will be still doing great in the midnight, maybe a new sunrise will appear in a few years...

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Holy crap, what an opening post to start with. To be fair, I felt exactly like you. I joined the fandom around 2013 and I thought I was too late since the prime time of the fandom was in 2011-2012. I eventually got over it though but ponies have been part of my life for the past 5-6 years and I wouldn't want it any other way. I can't exactly imagine what it felt like to be trapped in an abusive relationship for a decade. Yeah, there are bunch of insensitive people that around here who just like spoiling the show for others just to get a kick out of it. I can understand how it feels to see the show ending. I can't really believe it myself since I really don't want it to end. But reality has to come and hit some time. Good things don't last and I rather see the show end then it becoming a monstrosity like Spongebob. The show needs to end some day and sooner is better than later because seasonal rot will eventually consume it.

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as someone who just joined i can understand how you feel that you lost the best days of the fandom, time will not go back and we will never see it at its peak, but at least all the amazing stuff they made still remains for us to discover, try to focus on the positives, we may not have the quantity of fan works that there was, but there are still quality pieces produced, and even after the show ends we can hope that the next one will be just as good, something so big doesn't die so easily, the comunity will be here long after, let us try to enjoy it while it lasts instead of lamenting for the future

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You really bared part of your soul for us today; that's really awesome :-D

The first thing I want to touch on might seem obvious but I feel like it still needs to be said: you have absolutely no reason to feel guilty. I know that it's not going to change how you feel, and your feelings are 100% valid, you need to accept them for what they are and also understand that you've done nothing wrong.

I've also been with the show since the first episode in 2011; I've been a fan of ponies since I was a kid and it was cool to see a reboot with an art style that was, in my opinion, significantly cuter than previous generations on top of having Lauren Faust of all people be a part of it! That, and Tara Strong, got me interested :mlp_proud: I was lucky to have that available to me as it sounds like you have been suppressed and stunted. I have a lot of childhood trauma that has given me the same kind of "Peter Pan Syndrome" (my therapist agrees with that term lol) which is connected with a lot of my mental health problems and one thing that really, really helped me is hearing my therapist tell me that not only is there absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying and participating in childish behaviour but it's actually good for you. It's normal, and if it makes you happy then there's nothing wrong with it. You're not hurting anyone nor yourself. I learned how to get over myself, my fears, and learned to simply embrace that part of me. Yes, I play with toys. I mean, I don't exactly sit on the floor everyday and fwoom, zoom, kaboom little plastic horses around but I do sit at a table and, internally, create scenes and dialogue and I will move them around. I literally have a small set-up where I play with toys on occasion :laugh: I'm going to be 28 this year.

Just as well, while the fandom is sort of shrinking a little, I don't see what everyone else is seeing in regards to the fandom eventually caving in completely when even a group of 100 people can make up a fandom. Joining late in the game, to me, is proof that the show really still holds up and will captivate new and old fans for a while. I actually disappeared from the fandom for a while before getting back into it because I started to miss having people to discuss colourful horses with. I want to make friends, connections, and extend them beyond the fandom. Sharing a single common interest is great, but the best thing is making a friend who sticks with you through and through :mlp_wink: Ponies or not. Besides, there are still loads of people making art, music, projects, the works! Certainly not as much as the old glory days, but I'm actually working on a comic set in that universe (just for fun, nothing super serious lol). 

If the fandom one day disappears to the point where even this site is taken down, I would HOPE that all of my friends have me on Discord, Facebook, etc so we can still be just that.

Ponies brought us together but they are not the glue that binds us :rarity: I've re-watched all of it twice, in order, in the last two months because I love this show so much. When it ends, I'll re-watch it again, and again, and again :D

And if you ever need someone to talk to privately, my inbox is always open! (I feel we might share similar traumas... I've been in a couple of severely abusive relationships as well.)

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I discovered "pony" maybe a year and a half ago, and it does feel like I missed the young, fresh years of brony fandom; When I saw de lancie's movie and realised there had been an actual convention in my city, and I had missed it, that was not a good feeling either (and the fact that the conventions seem to be dying isn't helping that)

Still, I don't think the brony fandom will ever itself die - it may be folded into more generic comic and animation conventions, but will no more die than the star trek, star wars or dr who fandoms have or will.  There will always be a core fandom, drawn to the messages and morals Pony brings, and I can be a part of that moving forward, informed by the past but looking to the future.

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This is the most depth I've seen in a topic on here in a long time. Usually it takes a staff member leaving for topics to get this deep. I commend you for reaching out, and you should know that you're not alone, here, regardless how you may initially feel. :mlp_rarity: And let me tell you something else - this community, even this specific forum has only come to thrive again as a positive group of people in the last year or two. Don't fall prey to nostalgia you weren't around to see - there was plenty of drama and undesirable times during the fandom's peak years, because that's when everything became mainstream. Things actually felt unattached and pretty illusory for a while, at least to those who had been here from the start. I think joining now isn't bad at all, because you're witnessing that closeness and fondness from those fans who weren't here to ride the hype - the people who definitively care about sharing the show's morals and caring for others unconditionally. It's like you're at the fandom's start again, and that's a wonderful time to be a part of something.

As for the show's inevitable end and BronyCon's end, these are not signs of a dying fandom, but one that is now leveling off from a very inflated hype. Fandoms never die, and some fandoms don't even take off until after thier show has ended, so as much as it's sad to see BronyCon end, or the show coming to a close, know that there are still, and will still be other pony conventions, integrated and not integrated with other conventions, and a gen 5 to be optimistic about with the strong fandom that's still here.

Please take the time to make friends here, you've earned it for all you've gone through. I've no doubt that the fandom will only help you move forward, as we all do.

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Back in 2011 is when I discovered MLP. I was really young at the time so I didn't understand the concept of bronies or forums so I didn't go on them and I didn't know they existed. Back then I watched everything for the most part, I even enjoyed the mane 6 which is hard to believe now. Fan works of mlp were also quite entertaining though for some reason I lost interest and then I got into Sailor moon and anime in Early 2013, at the time I was still quite an immature little child, then I lost interest in sailor moon and went back into mlp and I watched whatever I had missed. I admit I do feel nostalgia for the old days of mlp not for mlp itself but for the feelings I get from it.

Bronycon and whatever else may be ending, I was always too young to go and I probably would have never went anyways. I can understand why people would go to those things though I don't understand or care about them ending, what's done is done theres nothing to mope over what we have to do is move on from the past and make a better future. As of right now I am not at all interested in mlp though the community has been rather great aswell as these forums.

It's time for mlp to end, it's time to end the stagnation and it's time for a blank new slate, something creative, something new, something unique. 

I personally, found your post rather interesting with all you have been through, mainly the first part. The part about the planet that always rained...I imagined myself there, how I would feel, how I would act, so lost and alone longing for the light of the gentle sun.

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I apologize in advance if any of this comes across as a harsh critique, but I feel that this needs to be said.

First of all, there is no need to feel guilty over joining the fandom later than most. As for myself? I joined the fandom in February of this year, so needless to say, I'm quite a newcomer. This has not detracted from my experience within the fandom, though; I have met many, many wonderful people along the way. Yes, the brony fandom may be past its prime... but it will still be around for quite a while, even if it assumes a new form in Generation 5. There will always be new faces to join the fray, even if the overall quantity of fans contract. Not to mention, joining a Fandom late has it's perks; you arrive after the drama has petered out, as ~Chaotic Discord~ clarified.

With that said... in my opinion, you should try to find more hobbies. Yes, there will always be bronies out and about... but I would advise against clinging onto MLP too much. Not only is the fandom shrinking, but there are so many wonderful things that life can offer outside of it. It's understandable to be upset over Bronycon's imminent closure, but there are many, many other avenues you can pursue. There are reading clubs, film festivals, Renaissance Fairs, among other things. The key is to find that which you love, or at the very least enjoy. You will most likely have a great time at Bronycon next year, so I'm sure that other festivities can offer a similar experience.

One last subject to cover, though... I understand that post-divorce stress is not a joke, but I believe that the best thing you can do for yourself in this instance is to just press forward. The passion and energy that you felt during your run in the Fandom was not necessarily due to My Little Pony; it was due to the fact that you felt purpose somewhere. I am confident that you could rekindle that enthusiasm elsewhere, you just need to explore a bit. While I can't necessarily relate to your devotion to the fandom, I would advise against clinging onto it for too long. I know it can't be easy to do such a thing in your situation... but life goes on one way or another. Should you throw My Little Pony into the recycling bin of your mind? I don't think so; if it brings you joy in any capacity, then I don't see any issue at all with continued enjoyment, so long as it doesn't become a crutch.

My point is, don't rely on MLP to bring joy into your life; there are far too many avenues in life that can bring you joy outside of it. I know it's tempting to say that you would rather live in Equestria than the real world... but I'm sorry; you don't have a choice. My Little Pony has been a valuable portion of many of our lives, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with bringing those positive memories with you, wherever you go. Be that as it may, you have two choices at this stage of the game:

  1. Remain in sorrow due to the Fandom's contraction and the fact that you showed up a few years too late.
  2. Continue forward in life, welcoming new experiences along the way, which may even bring you as much joy as MLP did way back when.

I apologize once again if any of this came across as harsh, but I only want you to enjoy your life as much as possible. Take everything that I have said with a grain of salt, but also take some time to introspect a bit. My Little Pony will be around for quite a while, and you and I will most likely bring it with us... but neither of us can do this forever.

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I am extremely sorry to hear about what you've gone through and applaud you for having the courage to trust our community enough to share this with us. I will voice some criticism from a place of love and not hate, however, that you should not be using a show or a fandom as the foundation for what keeps you going in life. Trust me, I've experienced much more than just one rodeo with real-life troubles that have made me feel absolutely worthless, including an abusive childhood and being betrayed by people I loved and thought I could trust to bare my soul to. If you live your life with the hope that drives you being in things like politics, TV shows, and what people on the internet have to say, you're only going to find yourself disappointed and miserable as you watch all those things change. You need to build the hope that keeps you going on something that will last forever. Use the love you have for the show and the fandom as an inspiration to create something amazing, use it as an inspiration to make a better person out of yourself. If you just think that everything will end and be for nothing when the fandom ends (which won't happen, something I and many others have already covered countless times), only then will you have truly missed out.

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That sucks bro. Your pony story and mine share similarities. Like you, I’ve been through very...... difficult times since my teens, that lasted over a decade as well. Was so awful that it was hard for me that I’ve only seen three outcomes:

1-suicide

2-suicide

3-suicide......... after committing murder  :catface:

day by day I was losing my soul and sanity, and my nightly mantra was: “I hate people”. One thing that brought me joy, and served me as a motivation to aim for something better, and made me resist a little more until my life made a needed 180, where ‘em horses. I’ve joined the fandom November 2012 at the earliest I think, and like you, had jitters about the show ending just when I’ve joined with the Twilicorn business, but it was my highlight as well, so I was saying goodbye to poneh in a bittersweet way :kindness:

Dunno what I could advice you, as I’ve improved thanks to ponies, to the point I don’t need them anymore, but still do because they where my life bringer that gave me back my will to live, and I’ll stand by them until the very end

I sometimes pretend they are watching over me, after all: “There’s no wrong way to fantasize” :sunbutt:

10 hours ago, TheTaZe said:

 I can't exactly imagine what it felt like to be trapped in an abusive relationship for a decade. 

I can :sunny:

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On 8/30/2018 at 12:30 PM, Iam said:

I was a Brony since first episode, since premiere in Poland (October 2011), I had briefly explained how I went a Brony in my introdution. I was however always too afraid of being a Brony, that the only people that were knowing about me being a Brony was: mother, stepfather, younger sister and brother (there are now very malicious, when it comes to Starlight topics, ugh), father, friend of a father, my friend Łukasz and later: friend Norbert, Internet a (former) friend from Discord, grandparents and I think nothing else.

I had rediscovered how great the MLP: FiM was, but I feel, like I missed a big chunk of fun and now, after watching only Starlight episodes I can only say, that... that... I don't know what really I have to say. It's just a big pity to miss the fun and join such forum (for example) so lately. My only hope for decent social interactions are this place and one Discord server I'm active on. About Starlight, she's my life now, I really wish I could go to Equestria and never go back. Human children just made me lost of faith of most of humanity and I wouldn't cry after leaving everything I had know only to be in Equestria (I just have hope that they speak my native language, lul).

I really identify with you now, dear @bornAgainEquestrian, I know how it feels to join a true community late. In the sunset of it. Nonentheless I suppose that the fandom, shrinked by time, will be still doing great in the midnight, maybe a new sunrise will appear in a few years...

I got past the fear of ridicule long ago personally, but I definitely remember what it felt like when that was still a big problem. In elementary school everyone found out that I had a crush on a cartoon character and the impact of that lasted all the way through high school. These days I could care less what anyone thinks of me. But it's also very surprising to see, at this point in human civilization when things like gay rights are practically solidified, that people are still afraid to show off their love of colorful ponies, or feel like they have to hide a plush or dakimakura from their own parents. That is unbelievable to me, and also very heartbreaking.

And I'm with you. I'd lose no sleep over leaving Earth for Equestria, as long as there were a few people I could bring with me (the ones who would be just as willing to go).

I can only hope for a chance at a resurgence. Or just... something... incredible to happen. I sense that nothing is going to fill the void left behind by G4, unless G5 ends up being equally spectacular. And if the throne that FiM sat in is then left empty, I suspect there's going to be some serious backlash.

 

On 8/30/2018 at 12:33 PM, TheTaZe said:

 I can't really believe it myself since I really don't want it to end. But reality has to come and hit some time. Good things don't last and I rather see the show end then it becoming a monstrosity like Spongebob. The show needs to end some day and sooner is better than later because seasonal rot will eventually consume it.

Why I'd much prefer Hasbro thinking outside their usual box. I've said this a few times now but I feel like I can't say it enough. Do a sequel, prequel, different location in Equestria, or whatever. Rebooting now is to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
 

On 8/30/2018 at 2:05 PM, ~C. Discord~ said:

 Don't fall prey to nostalgia you weren't around to see - there was plenty of drama and undesirable times during the fandom's peak years, because that's when everything became mainstream. Things actually felt unattached and pretty illusory for a while, at least to those who had been here from the start. I think joining now isn't bad at all, because you're witnessing that closeness and fondness from those fans who weren't here to ride the hype - the people who definitively care about sharing the show's morals and caring for others unconditionally. It's like you're at the fandom's start again, and that's a wonderful time to be a part of something.

As for the show's inevitable end and BronyCon's end, these are not signs of a dying fandom, but one that is now leveling off from a very inflated hype. Fandoms never die, and some fandoms don't even take off until after thier show has ended, so as much as it's sad to see BronyCon end, or the show coming to a close, know that there are still, and will still be other pony conventions, integrated and not integrated with other conventions, and a gen 5 to be optimistic about with the strong fandom that's still here.

Please take the time to make friends here, you've earned it for all you've gone through. I've no doubt that the fandom will only help you move forward, as we all do.

In my case, while granted, drama can be very stressful, I actually still would've welcomed it. I've heard the horror stories but I know exactly where I would've stood on each of those points. I was a moderate celebrity in two different MMO's and as a result, had a responsibility to speak out on major things that came up. It was very draining and sometimes painful, but I welcomed it. I typically transformed into the stereotypical mildly-crazy-but-very-wise-old-man whenever such things came up, and I've no doubt I would've done the same here. But with all of those heated topics, like the Derpy war or Alicorn-Twilight, I know how I would have handled it. The only thing I DON'T know how to handle, is what I'm facing now. Yeah, even if I'd been here, I wouldn't know what to do, but my gut tells me I would have been at least mildly prominent in the community to where my voice would have some pull, meaning overall, I'd have more options available to "hold back the tide." Also, while drama can be negative, it's also a good "sign" because where there's drama, you also know there's passion.

On 8/30/2018 at 1:20 PM, Moon Glow said:

You really bared part of your soul for us today; that's really awesome :-D

The first thing I want to touch on might seem obvious but I feel like it still needs to be said: you have absolutely no reason to feel guilty. I know that it's not going to change how you feel, and your feelings are 100% valid, you need to accept them for what they are and also understand that you've done nothing wrong.

I've also been with the show since the first episode in 2011; I've been a fan of ponies since I was a kid and it was cool to see a reboot with an art style that was, in my opinion, significantly cuter than previous generations on top of having Lauren Faust of all people be a part of it! That, and Tara Strong, got me interested :mlp_proud: I was lucky to have that available to me as it sounds like you have been suppressed and stunted. I have a lot of childhood trauma that has given me the same kind of "Peter Pan Syndrome" (my therapist agrees with that term lol) which is connected with a lot of my mental health problems and one thing that really, really helped me is hearing my therapist tell me that not only is there absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying and participating in childish behaviour but it's actually good for you. It's normal, and if it makes you happy then there's nothing wrong with it. You're not hurting anyone nor yourself. I learned how to get over myself, my fears, and learned to simply embrace that part of me. Yes, I play with toys. I mean, I don't exactly sit on the floor everyday and fwoom, zoom, kaboom little plastic horses around but I do sit at a table and, internally, create scenes and dialogue and I will move them around. I literally have a small set-up where I play with toys on occasion :laugh: I'm going to be 28 this year.

Just as well, while the fandom is sort of shrinking a little, I don't see what everyone else is seeing in regards to the fandom eventually caving in completely when even a group of 100 people can make up a fandom.

Well it's a bit more complex than that too because as I said, I was cut off from all of my friends, and that really has left a scar as well. Through Dash I actually learned how much of a loyalist I actually am, so knowing I actually let her do that to me, and betray people I cared about and cared about me... yeah, that hurts a lot. Also realizing that losing contact with one particular friend is ultimately the reason I had no chance at discovering Ponies at the right time, and it's like fate has dealt me the worst punishment for the ONLY time in my life where I ever consciously abandoned anybody. The closest thing to how I really used to believe, I drew from Lilo and Stitch. The "Ohana" thing... nobody gets left behind or forgotten. That was a big deal to me and clearly an early indicator of what Loyalty was about to me, but I still screwed up. Hard. I guess you could say I failed Nightmare Moon's trial with the Shadowbolts. And in a way I'm going to be paying for that mistake for the rest of my life.

Play is definitely not a problem for me, though I haven't done anything with toys in quite a while. I've always found it funny how so many thumb their noses up at that kind of play though, but then have no problem doing what is essentially the same thing in video games. You have an avatar, you play dress-up with it, you go out and roleplay, and probably get into battles. Really the only big difference is it's electronic instead of something you can hold in your hand, and maybe the karate chop action comes with cool laser effects and explosions.

I hope it doesn't come to a tiny cluster of 100 people. I've been a part of fandoms like that before, the dawn of the internet with Muppets and later Rainbow Brite. I hope I don't experience that kind of thing again though because with so few, it's impossible to ever have cons, and as a result, also next to impossible to turn friendships into something more real, that exists beyond the computer screen. I found that it still brings with it that same sense of being isolated or trapped, when electronic communication is all you have, being across a country is the same as being in different galaxies.:(

 

On 8/30/2018 at 2:17 PM, The Recherche said:

With that said... in my opinion, you should try to find more hobbies. Yes, there will always be bronies out and about... but I would advise against clinging onto MLP too much. Not only is the fandom shrinking, but there are so many wonderful things that life can offer outside of it. It's understandable to be upset over Bronycon's imminent closure, but there are many, many other avenues you can pursue. There are reading clubs, film festivals, Renaissance Fairs, among other things. The key is to find that which you love, or at the very least enjoy. You will most likely have a great time at Bronycon next year, so I'm sure that other festivities can offer a similar experience.

One last subject to cover, though... I understand that post-divorce stress is not a joke, but I believe that the best thing you can do for yourself in this instance is to just press forward. The passion and energy that you felt during your run in the Fandom was not necessarily due to My Little Pony; it was due to the fact that you felt purpose somewhere. I am confident that you could rekindle that enthusiasm elsewhere, you just need to explore a bit. While I can't necessarily relate to your devotion to the fandom, I would advise against clinging onto it for too long. I know it can't be easy to do such a thing in your situation... but life goes on one way or another. Should you throw My Little Pony into the recycling bin of your mind? I don't think so; if it brings you joy in any capacity, then I don't see any issue at all with continued enjoyment, so long as it doesn't become a crutch.

My point is, don't rely on MLP to bring joy into your life; there are far too many avenues in life that can bring you joy outside of it.

I apologize once again if any of this came across as harsh, but I only want you to enjoy your life as much as possible. Take everything that I have said with a grain of salt, but also take some time to introspect a bit.

No need to apologize. I'm very open to criticism as long as it doesn't come out like rage-filled bullying. I think you may have misinterpreted my story a little though. My "soul-search" has been going on since I was old enough to contemplate existentialism. FiM did more than get me over a divorce (but if you knew me well, you'd know how even that on its own is amazing). It got me over practically a lifetime of pain. Yes, I was in a very dark place after being abandoned by my ex, but this went so much further. And I can't just brush aside the near infinite energy as "suddenly having purpose." I've had purpose before. My wife was my entire world, and even early on before she revealed her true colors, even that wasn't enough to get me past alcoholism. FiM on the other hand? I have full control over drinking now, without the need for intervention. That is no small thing, knowing what is said about how hard it is to combat addiction. For anything to have that kind of influence is to have nearly infinite power, and it's a power I've never felt from anything else. The only ways I know of "normal" people who get such a long-lasting energy surge from anything boil down to two things: sports fandom, and religion. I've tried being a participant of both in my life, and neither gave me the feeling that most long-term practitioners of such get out of it. This did. And please don't assume that I haven't been looking for alternatives. Indeed, the whole of my adult life, long before FiM was even a thing, has been nothing BUT trying to find an answer to this problem, and pretty much every adventure I've had can be attributed to that search. I got around in a way that few in the modern age ever have; exploring; wandering; trying to find the "thing." Maybe this is as good of a time as any to bring this up... I always related to "The Doctor" a LOT, particularly the soft-reboot incarnation of him, and most people who both know me and that show have said as such... they see me as pretty much being that guy, just without a magic time-traveling machine. Looking at "Hooves", and what the fans made him out to be, I can't help but chuckle, because it makes all too much sense to me that the Doctor would choose Equestria as a new home to settle down in. One of the things from Doctor Who that has played on my mind since my weird "awakening" this year, was a bit of monologue from the 50th anniversary movie. Even knowing that most likely, all of this will die soon, I can't shake these words from my head. Had I discovered this ten years ago it would be even more prevalent, but this describes my life at this point probably better than anything else could.

"Clara sometimes asks me if I dream. 'Of course I dream,' I tell her. 'Everybody dreams.' 'But what do you dream about?' she asks. 'Same thing everybody dreams about,' I tell her. 'I dream about where I'm going.' She always laughs at that. 'But you're not going anywhere, you're just wandering about.' That's not true. Not anymore. I have a new destination. My journey is the same as yours, the same as anyone's. It's taken me so many years, so many lifetimes, but at last I know where I'm going. Where I've always been going. Home, the long way around."

I certainly wouldn't have preferred a kiddie show and its ragtag fandom to be the only thing I ever found that could fill this hole in my heart, but life has a way of not giving a darn how we would want things to go. And it's not like I haven't tried to find something that keeps me going. Any deity in the universe knows how much I tried; more prayers in my adulthood have been attributed to this than any other subject. I've seen so much in this world, a lot more than you probably think I have. I literally feel like I've been through multiple lives, and I've been all over the place. I've seen lots of wondrous things and had many amazing adventures during my quest. But on that deepest level, nothing was able to impress me, touch me, give me the sense of, "This is it. You're needed here, just as much as you need to be here." I've done a lot for a lot of people in my life. I've helped many. And while I feel satisfaction from having done that, and I got appreciation (though often not), there was always somehow this feeling of "unrequited love" through all of it; where I put my heart and soul into things but really got nothing in return for my efforts. This is the ONLY time where I've felt like I DO get that ambient feedback (sometimes by putting forth almost no effort at all), and that's really kind of eerie because it feels like a freaking episode of the Twilight Zone. No concept or idealism I've found out there can hold a candle to this and yeah, that's sad, but it's also simply the reality I have to live with. Everything else feels like an empty distraction, like getting high or drunk.

 

On 8/30/2018 at 10:48 PM, Steve Piranha said:

day by day I was losing my soul and sanity, and my nightly mantra was: “I hate people”. One thing that brought me joy, and served me as a motivation to aim for something better, and made me resist a little more until my life made a needed 180, where ‘em horses. I’ve joined the fandom November 2012 at the earliest I think, and like you, had jitters about the show ending just when I’ve joined with the Twilicorn business, but it was my highlight as well, so I was saying goodbye to poneh in a bittersweet way :kindness:

Dunno what I could advice you, as I’ve improved thanks to ponies, to the point I don’t need them anymore, but still do because they where my life bringer that gave me back my will to live, and I’ll stand by them until the very end

I sometimes pretend they are watching over me, after all: “There’s no wrong way to fantasize” :sunbutt:

That was definitely part of my "alien on Earth" feeling. In my case it wasn't really a case of hating people, but not understanding why they hated me. Or not understanding why the kind of personal life I wanted was such a foreign and undesirable concept. A rekindled faith in humanity is definitely something that came out of all of this, but mostly I still feel like an outsider. I just have less of a grim view of people in general.

Aaaand... yeah, about fantasizing, interesting little story adding onto what happened to me the day I saw Tirek attacking. That night I had a dream. I remember very little, which is probably a good thing, given how emotional I was for a few days after. I kind of suspect something in me isn't letting me remember all of it because otherwise I would probably be "blue pilling." I also tend to remember only the last minute or so of a dream. In this case, on that night, I was outside my house looking at the night sky. I saw the most beautiful thing and wanted to take a photo with my good camera, but either the SD card or the battery was missing. What I saw was stars glowing brilliant like in the middle of winter, a full moon, and absolutely marvelous silver lining at the edges of the random clouds. One of the clouds then suddenly began changing shape, and took the form of an Alicorn. Then I woke up. And suddenly I was over someone I'd been in love with for a whole decade, as if she'd been "erased" in an instant That is pretty incredible to me and I still sometimes can't believe that a dream could do something like that. But some kind of strange metamorphosis definitely transpired that night. I haven't felt the same since and I'm glad of it. The only thing vexing me now is... what the heck do I do with this? Why now, at the end? And I've just been reminded of another thing from entertainment that always freaked me out, a little scene from the Last Unicorn; ironic really because it actually involves a human conversing with a talking horse.



A bit more in line with what you said... yes. Like the aforementioned MMO's I mentioned further up, I was there when the "lights went out." In one case I was part of a small group who was amazingly there AFTER the lights went out. With the Ponies, it will be no different. I will stand by them until the very end. They deserve at least that much. Loyalty. Loyalty will stay with the ship after all others have jumped overboard, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Sometimes I get weird feelings like you too. A few times I almost feel like I hear Dash screaming at me, pushing me forward, the way a coach would. Really she's somehow given me more than any girlfriend ever did, without even "really" being there. I can't comprehend how that's even possible, but somehow it is. " There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamed of in your philosophy."


****************************************************

To all who replied, thank you for your responses. I felt a little better just being able to post my feelings and get them out, but it's a rare thing to even be able to do that and get such heartfelt answers. You may not know it, those of you who have enjoyed this for so long, but it's a very, VERY rare thing to have in this world.

I'll end my post with this... a song that has meant so much to me for many years. It describes the feeling I've always had, the feeling that only crystallized into something more coherent when Ponies came into my life.

 

Edited by bornAgainEquestrian
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1 hour ago, bornAgainEquestrian said:

I got past the fear of ridicule long ago personally, but I definitely remember what it felt like when that was still a big problem. In elementary school everyone found out that I had a crush on a cartoon character and the impact of that lasted all the way through high school. These days I could care less what anyone thinks of me. But it's also very surprising to see, at this point in human civilization when things like gay rights are practically solidified, that people are still afraid to show off their love of colorful ponies, or feel like they have to hide a plush or dakimakura from their own parents. That is unbelievable to me, and also very heartbreaking.

And I'm with you. I'd lose no sleep over leaving Earth for Equestria, as long as there were a few people I could bring with me (the ones who would be just as willing to go).

 

(...)
 

In my case, while granted, drama can be very stressful, I actually still would've welcomed it. I've heard the horror stories but I know exactly where I would've stood on each of those points. I was a moderate celebrity in two different MMO's and as a result, had a responsibility to speak out on major things that came up. It was very draining and sometimes painful, but I welcomed it. I typically transformed into the stereotypical mildly-crazy-but-very-wise-old-man whenever such things came up, and I've no doubt I would've done the same here. But with all of those heated topics, like the Derpy war or Alicorn-Twilight, I know how I would have handled it. The only thing I DON'T know how to handle, is what I'm facing now. Yeah, even if I'd been here, I wouldn't know what to do, but my gut tells me I would have been at least mildly prominent in the community to where my voice would have some pull, meaning overall, I'd have more options available to "hold back the tide." Also, while drama can be negative, it's also a good "sign" because where there's drama, you also know there's passion.

 

My "soul-search" has been going on since I was old enough to contemplate existentialism. FiM did more than get me over a divorce (but if you knew me well, you'd know how even that on its own is amazing). It got me over practically a lifetime of pain. Yes, I was in a very dark place after being abandoned by my ex, but this went so much further. And I can't just brush aside the near infinite energy as "suddenly having purpose." I've had purpose before. My wife was my entire world, and even early on before she revealed her true colors, even that wasn't enough to get me past alcoholism. FiM on the other hand? I have full control over drinking now, without the need for intervention. That is no small thing, knowing what is said about how hard it is to combat addiction. For anything to have that kind of influence is to have nearly infinite power, and it's a power I've never felt from anything else. The only ways I know of "normal" people who get such a long-lasting energy surge from anything boil down to two things: sports fandom, and religion. I've tried being a participant of both in my life, and neither gave me the feeling that most long-term practitioners of such get out of it. This did. And please don't assume that I haven't been looking for alternatives. Indeed, the whole of my adult life, long before FiM was even a thing, has been nothing BUT trying to find an answer to this problem, and pretty much every adventure I've had can be attributed to that search. I got around in a way that few in the modern age ever have; exploring; wandering; trying to find the "thing." Maybe this is as good of a time as any to bring this up... I always related to "The Doctor" a LOT, particularly the soft-reboot incarnation of him, and most people who both know me and that show have said as such... they see me as pretty much being that guy, just without a magic time-traveling machine. Looking at "Hooves", and what the fans made him out to be, I can't help but chuckle, because it makes all too much sense to me that the Doctor would choose Equestria as a new home to settle down in. One of the things from Doctor Who that has played on my mind since my weird "awakening" this year, was a bit of monologue from the 50th anniversary movie. Even knowing that most likely, all of this will die soon, I can't shake these words from my head. Had I discovered this ten years ago it would be even more prevalent, but this describes my life at this point probably better than anything else could.

"Clara sometimes asks me if I dream. 'Of course I dream,' I tell her. 'Everybody dreams.' 'But what do you dream about?' she asks. 'Same thing everybody dreams about,' I tell her. 'I dream about where I'm going.' She always laughs at that. 'But you're not going anywhere, you're just wandering about.' That's not true. Not anymore. I have a new destination. My journey is the same as yours, the same as anyone's. It's taken me so many years, so many lifetimes, but at last I know where I'm going. Where I've always been going. Home, the long way around."

I certainly wouldn't have preferred a kiddie show and its ragtag fandom to be the only thing I ever found that could fill this hole in my heart, but life has a way of not giving a darn how we would want things to go. And it's not like I haven't tried to find something that keeps me going. Any deity in the universe knows how much I tried; more prayers in my adulthood have been attributed to this than any other subject. I've seen so much in this world, a lot more than you probably think I have. I literally feel like I've been through multiple lives, and I've been all over the place. I've seen lots of wondrous things and had many amazing adventures during my quest. But on that deepest level, nothing was able to impress me, touch me, give me the sense of, "This is it. You're needed here, just as much as you need to be here." I've done a lot for a lot of people in my life. I've helped many. And while I feel satisfaction from having done that, and I got appreciation (though often not), there was always somehow this feeling of "unrequited love" through all of it; where I put my heart and soul into things but really got nothing in return for my efforts. This is the ONLY time where I've felt like I DO get that ambient feedback (sometimes by putting forth almost no effort at all), and that's really kind of eerie because it feels like a freaking episode of the Twilight Zone. No concept or idealism I've found out there can hold a candle to this and yeah, that's sad, but it's also simply the reality I have to live with. Everything else feels like an empty distraction, like getting high or drunk.

 

That was definitely part of my "alien on Earth" feeling. In my case it wasn't really a case of hating people, but not understanding why they hated me. Or not understanding why the kind of personal life I wanted was such a foreign and undesirable concept. A rekindled faith in humanity is definitely something that came out of all of this, but mostly I still feel like an outsider. I just have less of a grim view of people in general.

Aaaand... yeah, about fantasizing, interesting little story adding onto what happened to me the day I saw Tirek attacking. That night I had a dream. I remember very little, which is probably a good thing, given how emotional I was for a few days after. I kind of suspect something in me isn't letting me remember all of it because otherwise I would probably be "blue pilling." I also tend to remember only the last minute or so of a dream. In this case, on that night, I was outside my house looking at the night sky. I saw the most beautiful thing and wanted to take a photo with my good camera, but either the SD card or the battery was missing. What I saw was stars glowing brilliant like in the middle of winter, a full moon, and absolutely marvelous silver lining at the edges of the random clouds. One of the clouds then suddenly began changing shape, and took the form of an Alicorn. Then I woke up. And suddenly I was over someone I'd been in love with for a whole decade, as if she'd been "erased" in an instant That is pretty incredible to me and I still sometimes can't believe that a dream could do something like that. But some kind of strange metamorphosis definitely transpired that night. I haven't felt the same since and I'm glad of it. The only thing vexing me now is... what the heck do I do with this? Why now, at the end? And I've just been reminded of another thing from entertainment that always freaked me out, a little scene from the Last Unicorn; ironic really because it actually involves a human conversing with a talking horse.



A bit more in line with what you said... yes. Like the aforementioned MMO's I mentioned further up, I was there when the "lights went out." In one case I was part of a small group who was amazingly there AFTER the lights went out. With the Ponies, it will be no different. I will stand by them until the very end. They deserve at least that much. Loyalty. Loyalty will stay with the ship after all others have jumped overboard, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Sometimes I get weird feelings like you too. A few times I almost feel like I hear Dash screaming at me, pushing me forward, the way a coach would. Really she's somehow given me more than any girlfriend ever did, without even "really" being there. I can't comprehend how that's even possible, but somehow it is. " There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamed of in your philosophy."


****************************************************

To all who replied, thank you for your responses. I felt a little better just being able to post my feelings and get them out, but it's a rare thing to even be able to do that and get such heartfelt answers. You may not know it, those of you who have enjoyed this for so long, but it's a very, VERY rare thing to have in this world.

I'll end my post with this... a song that has meant so much to me for many years. It describes the feeling I've always had, the feeling that only crystallized into something more coherent when Ponies came into my life.

 

It's incredible that people are still capable of being so open emotionally. In my prestige high school most of people in my class seem to be only showing their faces like they were part of the big theatre. They may be open to talk about trendy things, but I see in their eyes something, that don't allow me to talk on much more philosofical things. Only with teachers and 1-2 peers in school I can talk about anythin, that interests me. - MLP topics too: and everyone accepts the fact, that I'm the Brony (even buddies in class).

I also had fear of revealing my interests in MLP FiM in previous school, ba, in my previous school I was socially pressured (as I judge from present tense) to have a girlfriend. And afterwards, after not fulfilled relationship, I had gone in psychiatrical hospital for weeks. Then, in the next school year I fell in love with Aspergers girl, which she fell in love withe me too, but my beloved mum made me conscious (after 11 months) that she abused me. - and I had reminded in the start of 2k18 (march/april?)...

Because I was after 5 seasons, I started to watch the 3 next ones after a long silence. And then I've found the perfect pony, which I felt relatable to the point of fanatism. The pony I talk about is called Starlight Glimmer. She's my motivation to change my negative behaviours. For now, to kill my free time, I not only spend time in front of turned on monitor doing something, I also spend time by making art graphics with Starlight and thinking of headcanons. I also read more books.

Oh, about the underlined part, I've never truly experienced it with GlimGlam, althought your story gave me motivation to fight with my worst addiction (reader's discretion highly adviced)

Spoiler

Addiction to pornography and onanisation

I feel guilty every single time, when I come to this, but animal instincts and raw pleasure overwhelms me. With your story, I start from now a 21-day curation, which will heal me from addiction presented in the hidden-text label. Thank you for existence, thank you for making me want of throwing out the addiction. I'll do all my best.

Thank you everyone, your support value is priceless.

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this post was so well put...

 

as a dude who got into the fandom but a few months ago (yes, my account is from 2015 however i'd rather not count that), i do feel the same. a good bright side to look at is that, even if G5 turns out to be a massive flop in the brony community, we still have G4. sure, no new eps and stuff would be released but, even after it's done, it still will exist and (hopefully) so would a part of the community.

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3 hours ago, FalloutFloyd said:

this post was so well put...

 

as a dude who got into the fandom but a few months ago (yes, my account is from 2015 however i'd rather not count that), i do feel the same. a good bright side to look at is that, even if G5 turns out to be a massive flop in the brony community, we still have G4. sure, no new eps and stuff would be released but, even after it's done, it still will exist and (hopefully) so would a part of the community.

Depends on how they end it I guess. I would suspect that they would leave the ending open, so they could still pick up the threads if G5 flops on them (and/or at least do more EqG eps)

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That feeling when you just got into the fandom, but then you realised that the show is going to over.

I joined when the show already hit season 8. :bea:

It's like "Why am I so late? Why didn't I find this show earlier? Why is almost every single thing I like... have to be at the end of its lifetime when I just found it?"

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3 hours ago, Iam said:

It's incredible that people are still capable of being so open emotionally. In my prestige high school most of people in my class seem to be only showing their faces like they were part of the big theatre. They may be open to talk about trendy things, but I see in their eyes something, that don't allow me to talk on much more philosofical things. Only with teachers and 1-2 peers in school I can talk about anythin, that interests me. - MLP topics too: and everyone accepts the fact, that I'm the Brony (even buddies in class)

I think part of that (maybe even most of that) here at MLPF is because it *IS* pony; pony is a wonderful world where positive traits are praised and valued, not taken advantage of then abused; where being open to accepting help means help is offered, not ridiculed (ok, so maybe the storm king, but he went all to pieces :D) and a whole bunch of stuff that is relatively uncommon in the world we have to live in

Uncommon isn't the same as non-existing though; the african philosophy of ubuntuism is probably the closest you can get to Pony without having hooves, and much of what it signifies involves holding yourself to a higher standard - where a brony might say "would would a pony do?" a follower of unhu would ask "what would a person do", or even "what would a human do?" .  Some people already feel that is how the world should be; in learning of ubuntu then, or of Pony, they find the home their soul already craves.  I think Fred Rodgers, were he around to see, would embrace Pony.

6 minutes ago, Kevin Tang said:

That feeling when you just got into the fandom, but then you realised that the show is going to over.

I joined when the show already hit season 8. :bea:

It's like "Why am I so late? Why didn't I find this show earlier? Why is almost every single thing I like... have to be at the end of its lifetime when I just found it?"

We will have to see.  I don't think the community will ever die, and I wouldn't be surprised if FIM reduced down to just "specials" for a few years, but never went away entirely (to keep bumping G4 toy sales, if nothing else)

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18 hours ago, Cypherhoof said:

Depends on how they end it I guess. I would suspect that they would leave the ending open, so they could still pick up the threads if G5 flops on them (and/or at least do more EqG eps)

Regardless, if it's going to survive with some of the magic that it had at the peak, the fandom needs to evolve some. Learn to sustain itself without constant content pouring out of Hasbro. Something I'm going to write about one of these days, but that's a topic for another thread, or maybe an editorial piece.

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Wow.... that post hit a little too close to home describing how relationships and friendship change from childhood to adulthood, and your journey along that road of discovery reminds me of my own. It's how I wound up realizing I was asexual. I just kinda realized "hey... I don't really NEED a significant other, I just need someone that I can actually TALK to, someone I can actually be friends with and do more than crack crude jokes in the cafeteria with."

but enough about me, I understand that as the sun sets on G4, and only now you are arriving, it can feel like all this is about to be over soon, and just as soon as you arrived, all this is going to be gone.

But from a long-time veteran of the herd, let me welcome you with open hooves. And let me ensure you that whether or not FiM lives on, I'll still be here to be your friend should you need me to. The fandom started with the show, yes, but it has grown into something so much more. We are here to celebrate friendship and the bonds we make with other people. Make no mistake, we still discuss the show, it is the thing that brought us all together in the first place, but what the meaning of this place has become feels more like a party of like minded individuals set out to.... rekindle in a way, a fire that has been lost and forgotten. We see friendship for what it truly is in a world that seems so superficial, we understand a deeper meaning to the loved ones with whom we spend time with, and when you boil down what it means to be a brony to its core philosophy, that describes us far better than any 22 minute series of events starring Twilight Sparkle and friends. So cherish these times together, but do not lament, because now that you are here, there are more to come. We came for the ponies, but stayed for each other; and because of this, it will take more than the end of G4 to tear us apart.

 

On behalf of myself and Equestrians alike, welcome to the herd.

 

-Hocus Pocus

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On 9/4/2018 at 4:29 PM, Hocus Pocus said:

Wow.... that post hit a little too close to home describing how relationships and friendship change from childhood to adulthood, and your journey along that road of discovery reminds me of my own. It's how I wound up realizing I was asexual. I just kinda realized "hey... I don't really NEED a significant other, I just need someone that I can actually TALK to, someone I can actually be friends with and do more than crack crude jokes in the cafeteria with."

but enough about me, I understand that as the sun sets on G4, and only now you are arriving, it can feel like all this is about to be over soon, and just as soon as you arrived, all this is going to be gone.

But from a long-time veteran of the herd, let me welcome you with open hooves. And let me ensure you that whether or not FiM lives on, I'll still be here to be your friend should you need me to. The fandom started with the show, yes, but it has grown into something so much more. We are here to celebrate friendship and the bonds we make with other people. Make no mistake, we still discuss the show, it is the thing that brought us all together in the first place, but what the meaning of this place has become feels more like a party of like minded individuals set out to.... rekindle in a way, a fire that has been lost and forgotten. We see friendship for what it truly is in a world that seems so superficial, we understand a deeper meaning to the loved ones with whom we spend time with, and when you boil down what it means to be a brony to its core philosophy, that describes us far better than any 22 minute series of events starring Twilight Sparkle and friends. So cherish these times together, but do not lament, because now that you are here, there are more to come. We came for the ponies, but stayed for each other; and because of this, it will take more than the end of G4 to tear us apart.

Gosh, that first paragraph... yeah. In my case, it's not about sex... definitely not asexual, but the end result was still the same, in that deep emotional bonds are typically forbidden without being romantically involved, so in our society, sex and emotional bonds have become ridiculously (and unnecessarily) intertwined. Even hugs have become pretty rare now. As for hanging out, yep. I don't mind that kind of thing some of the time, but the macho guy thing got old for me pretty fast and I wanted something more. Something I couldn't possibly get from the "normal" places where humans tend to convene. Bars, nightclubs, stadiums, church... That's also part of my concern about what's happening now though.

It has always seemed that while I could go anywhere, ANYWHERE, and meet people, the only way I could ever find the kind of people I REALLY wanted to meet were limited to online. Ponies is a nearly perfect reflection of what I've always been after, but the real key is others who are getting the same thing out of it. I've seen glimpses of it in others throughout my life (and a good portion of them ended up being fake) people, but again, always... ALWAYS were people I only met online, and it was always limited to that. Bronies are unique in that regard in that they actually started creating national gatherings and local clubs. Now that these are dwindling down too, it seems like the same thing is going to happen all over again. That's definitely a problem for me. While I cherish the friends I've made online over the years... indeed, aside from a few from highschool and before, the ONLY people I've met since then who are still around, are those I've met through a couple of other fandoms (that unfortunately never really survived beyond the 90's) that come as close cousins to MLP. But I'm also tired of being forever "trapped" on the internet in that regard. The people I CAN meet, are everywhere. The people I most WANT to meet, are always on the other side of a computer screen. Just like the Ponies. Go figure.

Edited by bornAgainEquestrian
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15 hours ago, bornAgainEquestrian said:

Gosh, that first paragraph... yeah. In my case, it's not about sex... definitely not asexual, but the end result was still the same, in that deep emotional bonds are typically forbidden without being romantically involved, so in our society, sex and emotional bonds have become ridiculously (and unnecessarily) intertwined. Even hugs have become pretty rare now. As for hanging out, yep. I don't mind that kind of thing some of the time, but the macho guy thing got old for me pretty fast and I wanted something more. Something I couldn't possibly get from the "normal" places where humans tend to convene. Bars, nightclubs, stadiums, church... That's also part of my concern about what's happening now though.

It has always seemed that while I could go anywhere, ANYWHERE, and meet people, the only way I could ever find the kind of people I REALLY wanted to meet were limited to online. Ponies is a nearly perfect reflection of what I've always been after, but the real key is others who are getting the same thing out of it. I've seen glimpses of it in others throughout my life (and a good portion of them ended up being fake) people, but again, always... ALWAYS were people I only met online, and it was always limited to that. Bronies are unique in that regard in that they actually started creating national gatherings and local clubs. Now that these are dwindling down too, it seems like the same thing is going to happen all over again. That's definitely a problem for me. While I cherish the friends I've made online over the years... indeed, aside from a few from highschool and before, the ONLY people I've met since then who are still around, are those I've met through a couple of other fandoms (that unfortunately never really survived beyond the 90's) that come as close cousins to MLP. But I'm also tired of being forever "trapped" on the internet in that regard. The people I CAN meet, are everywhere. The people I most WANT to meet, are always on the other side of a computer screen. Just like the Ponies. Go figure.

Oh yeah, I remember me dreaming about going to a brony gathering when I’ve joined the fandom back mid-s3, but started banishing as time went by, and I’ve resented not being able to join any of them. Now that I’m finally able, all local gatherings practically banished. 

But luck smiled upon me, as there was a gathering to see the premiere night of the pony movie where I was living, and went..... only to feel awkward because I was by myself and everyone else were with their friends or family, which soured the experience a bit. It wasn’t awful, just awkward, like a third well. Then again, I have my first embarrassing moment in my life I can tell, which is nice. But I also discovered that I actually like enjoying ponies on my own, my own space, and meditate, and I’m perfectly happy interacting with fellow horse-lovers here :mlp_icwudt:

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19 hours ago, Steve Piranha said:

But luck smiled upon me, as there was a gathering to see the premiere night of the pony movie where I was living, and went..... only to feel awkward because I was by myself and everyone else were with their friends or family, which soured the experience a bit. It wasn’t awful, just awkward, like a third well. Then again, I have my first embarrassing moment in my life I can tell, which is nice. But I also discovered that I actually like enjoying ponies on my own, my own space, and meditate, and I’m perfectly happy interacting with fellow horse-lovers here :mlp_icwudt:

I spent most of my life thinking I was an introvert, when really what it turned out being was the result of a LOT of negative/indifferent stimuli; in that hardly anybody really "got" who I really was, so that side just became VERY repressed. There were a few rare times where I've been in fandom-ish places with introverted people I knew, and the difference became pretty obvious. I slowly start turning into this Pinkie kind of a character with a lot of wild, loud, childish energy, while those others, definitely didn't, and also were slightly shocked that I could be that comfortable in a group of people I'd only known for a half hour. I definitely have times where I want solitude for just chilling out or deeper reflection, but... not all the time, where alternatives aren't even a choice. Then all of it... posting online, gaming, skyping, etc... it feels like a prison to me, as if I was on some solitary deep space outpost where it was my only contact with the world, which is pretty much what roughly 2009-2017 ended up being. Even in environments that aren't my element I've noticed something. Now that I'm able to work again, I ended up doing sales-floor in retail, which is like that thing that the whole world fears ever getting stuck in. I discovered I'm actually happier doing retail (as stressful as it sometimes gets) than I am being home alone. Since salespeople are expected to be outgoing, I can meet new people every day. Outside of work, it's the exact opposite. It's like "never talk to strangers" has expanded far beyond a rule for children, and encompasses practically everyone (maybe because enough kids who had that drilled into them are now adults?), unless you're in a recreational 'venue' of some kind. But as I said way further up, 95% of those "venues" are just not my thing.

One of those weird times where I did get that experience though... funny you bring up a film premiere, was when Revenge of the Sith came out. I decided to toss on my Jedi robe, and go on a trip to meet a couple people I had known online for a few months. Back before Fandango and electronic tickets, Star Wars was one of those things you had to camp out at so you can get in line soon enough to get a seat, so premieres for major IP's were a bit like mini-cons in their own right. All the cosplayers there quickly converged and we had a ton of ridiculous silly fun. It's still one of my favorite memories today. A bit of irony, that was in Provo, Utah, same place where the Crystal Mountain Bronycon ended up being.

Edited by bornAgainEquestrian
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